Amazon’s proprietary algorithm that ranks and offers recommendation to book readers has always been a matter of debate. While there has been several accusations in the past about the company turning a blind eye to authors gaming the system to reach the bestsellers’ list, nothing much has come out of it until now. However, a recent book – ironically available for purchase on Amazon Kindle – tells us the exact methodology that one needs to pursue to ensure that their books top the bestsellers chart on Amazon.
In the book, author Thomas Hertog claims to have successfully got his previous book – “Wealth Hazards” – to reach the #1 on the bestsellers’ list in the personal finance category although he barely sold 32 copies in 45 days of launch. Hertog points out that his gaming technique helped him overtake genuine bestselling authors like Robert Kiyosaki, Andrew Tobias and Dave Ramsey who have sold more than 50 million books. How did he do it? Hertog explains,
“I discovered how Amazon ranks book sales, customer reviews, comments on reviews, books that other buyers bought, and creates Amazon recommendations. Then I bought and downloaded to my Kindle one hundred and seventy-three times my own book Wealth Hazards, wrote numerous five-star customer reviews, and voted on how helpful or unhelpful reviews were in making a purchasing decision. I did this everyday on Amazon for nearly five months.”
Hertog has summarized his experiences on his book, “The Day the Kindle Died“, that can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here. It is a real eye-opener to the way Amazon ranks books besides letting us rethink the way Amazon could be violating the users’ privacy to mine valuable data using simple bookmarking tools like WhisperSync.
Did you read the book? Tell us your views on this debate in the comments below.